Virginia museum to host major exhibit from Beijing’s Palace Museum in October

McClatchy Washington BureauJuly 21, 2014 

— Starting Oct. 18, China comes to Virginia.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond will host “Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum” through Jan 11, 2015.

On loan from Beijing’s museum will be nearly 200 items from the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1912) dynasties, including scrolls, prints, ceramics, metalwork, lacquers, jade bracelets and life-size Buddhist sculptures. There will also be “nearly 50 paintings by court officials and court artists,” said Director Alex Nyerges.

As Nyerges said at a press conference at the Embassy of China, the Palace Museum is one of the “most visited” museums in the world with 14 million visitors a year, more than Paris’ Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It holds more than 1.8 million works of art.

In exchange, in 2016, the VMFA will loan its Faberge collection to the Palace Museum.

The VMFA exhibit will be in four sections, based on the Forbidden City. They will deal with court rituals, various arts, court paintings with symbolism and religion. It will also have a scaled model of the Forbidden City using 3-D printing.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the upcoming exhibit in a press release, saying his administration placed a “high priority” on trade relations with China and “knowledge through cultural exchanges will only serve to further solidify those relationships.”

The exhibition has corporate support from Altria and E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among many others.

“China and the United States are now building a new model of major cultural relationship,” said Lu Kang, chargé d’affaires at the Embassy, “so that our two peoples can know more about China and better understand each other. “

“Cultural exchange has proved to be a unique power to bring people together. “

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